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Ralf Scheepers – Vocals for Primal Fear

Date: 2/7/11
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. Did you write the music and lyrics on your solo album?

RALF: There are songs that I have written for my solo album only and there are also songs which could have been on a Primal Fear album as well. We always have a pool of songs when we (the rest of the guys in Primal Fear)compose together...but we have also composed some brand new tracks especially for this album. We also share duties in terms of lyrics but I have written 80% of the lyrics on this album on my own.

2. Who played on the album?

RALF: Mat Sinner, Magnus Karlsson, Sander Gommans, Alex Beyrodt and Stefan Leibing were helping me with the songwriting. Guest appearances (in terms of playing an instrument or singing) are: Mat Sinner (bass), Snowy Shaw(drums), Magnus Karlsson (guitars), Sander Gommans (guitars), Alex Beyrodt (guitars), Tim Ripper Owens(vocals on Remission of Sin (duet)), Mike Chlasciak (guitars), Kai Hansen(guitars), Victor Smolski (guitars)

3. After being in Primal Fear over 10 years, did you find it hard to make music for yourself?

RALF: I had collected enough great songs together over the years to present them to the public. On the other hand as I have said already, we are a great writing team. We are very productive guys and we love to write and write and write.

4. How much of Primal Fear is in your solo music?

RALF: Being the vocalist of Primal Fear it's the voice at first! Then of course I love heavy metal! My initial ideas for this album were pretty much ballads but it would have been stupid to release a "ballad only" album. The name SCHEEPERS stands for metal, that's the reason why we have decided to do a metal album with different vibes and tracks on it.

5. What were a couple different things you did with the music?

RALF: Songs like ‘The Pain Of The Accused’, ‘Back On The Track’, ‘Cyberfreak’, ‘Doomsday’ or ‘Compassion’ would never have made it on a Primal Fear album. I have experimented a lot with sounds, melodies and chords in my home studio and there are many results of this on the album.

6. Anything that’s really out in left field?

RALF: Everything came out of left field! That's how we compose...we invent melodies, rhythms, guitar riffs and complete songs out of left field.

7. How did you’re collaboration come about with Tim Owens?

RALF: I have got to know many great musicians throughout my career, that’s a cool thing. All of the guests on my solo album have something to do with my past, starting with Snowy Shaw who I met when I sung for the Therion album 20 years ago, then of course Kai my fellow musician and friend from the Gamma Ray times. Then of course Mat who is playing the bass and also produced this album together with me. Those guys I trust personally, I also trust musically of course and you can really say we became a great team. The same with Magnus Karlsson and Alex Beyrodt. Mike Chlasciak from the Halford band, played a solo on one of our Primal Fear albums many years ago and we also got to be metal brothers and good friends. Sander Gommans was visiting us at a Primal Fear show once in Holland and we got in touch with each other. Mat has started a musical connection with him and he suggested him to work on my album with us and he has delivered fantastic tracks for this album!

Primal Fear and Rage were touring together once, that’s how we got to know Victor Smolski. I have always worshipped his guitar playing ! We call him the “doctor of guitar playing”.

I met Tim Owens at a festival in Spain several years ago, we had a great chat about different things in music and also of singing and Judas Priest of course. We stayed in touch and became good buddies in the end. He was very positive about the idea of singing a duet with me...so we did it. Not in the same studio but still it worked amazing ! We might do something together again in the future.

8. Plan on doing any live shows?

RALF: So far we have never talked about touring for my solo album or doing a single one off show for it. We are very busy guys and everyone is also involved in different projects and bands....but most important will be the work with preparing our next Primal Fear studio album! I also think we should wait for the market reaction and the fans before discussing this issue. Primal Fear was and will always be top priority!

9. If it’s ok I’d like to get a quick update on Primal Fear. Why is Henny no longer in the band? Will Alex Beyrodt take his place and is Magnus still in the band?

RALF: Henny decided to leave the band as he wanted to do his own band...good luck for this! Alex Beyrodt was always a very loyal guy and helped us out so many times, he is a fantastic guitar player and it's so much fun to be with him....great! Magnus is still in the band, yes! The baby break is over!

10. Does Primal Fear have any plans to come to the U.S. in the near future?

RALF: First of all we are very busy with songwriting these days. We will do a quick South American tour at the end of February - Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Brasil. Then we will record the new Primal Fear album and also will do some single festival shows....we also might add a European tour again this year...but all in all it's too early to talk about any fixed dates. And, of course we also plan on coming to the States again.

Official website: http://www.facebook.com/ralf.scheepers


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